Over the past half century, the worldwide bee population has nearly collapsed; annual losses are up to 40% due to a variety of factors, including pesticides and extreme weather events driven by climate change. This decline threatens the 75% of global crops that depend on pollination—fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and nonedible staples such as cotton. Now, three-year-old startup Beewise has created a fully automated superhive, powered by AI and robotics, that enables 24/7 remote monitoring and dramatically reduces annual colony loss. Here’s how it works.
Unlike the traditional beekeeper’s white wooden box, the Beehome is an 8′ x 8′ x 6′ cube housing the equivalent of 24 hives, or a million bees. Temperature, infestations, and local water and forage supplies are addressed remotely to maintain bee health.
A robot installed within the hive includes an arm that glides down the aisle between sub-colonies, removing “frames” (honeycombs) just as a beekeeper does but also capturing photos and videos that are translated by software into data.
“The robot, I’m sorry to say, is pretty stupid,” says Beewise cofounder and CEO Saar Safra. “It just carries out AI orders.” Machine learning improves the software’s performance, enabling the robotic hives to reduce annual losses from 40% to 7.59%.